NCsoft‘s John Erskine, Director of Studio Services, has an insightful post about developing support systems for persistent massively multiplayer online worlds. With Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa and Lineage 2 under its banner, we can only imagine how hectic it could be in the support end for NCsoft. Erskine listed factoids that allow us to learn how the MMO giant does things, and you’ll see them at the full article.
Behind massively multiplayer online games where thousands of players gather and cause customer support headaches, several people are given the daunting task of keeping the MMO universe running. It’s difficult to imagine how NCsoft, known for dozens of successful online products, manages to ensure their patrons are satisfied.
To give us a glimpse of how an established company such as NCsoft supports its persistent worlds, Director of Studio Services John Erskine listed elements necessary to handle existing games like Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa and Lineage 2.
For Erskine, head of NCsoft’s department where Quality Assurance, Customer Service, Game Support and Localization are located, there are three important things that compound proper support systems.
First off, he stressed out that selecting the right persons to join the team behind an online game is crucial. Erskine explained the assigned “Lead” is required to form a team consisting of “people who are particularly interested in the game or whose strengths are particularly well suited for that game.”
Meanwhile, having tools is another essential part supporting an MMO. Tools in question include ticketing systems and those that allow staff to view character data unavailable to players. Many of these tools are said to be used by QA before proving worthy of being included in the support department’s arsenal.
Finally, there are four processes needed for the support system. Studio service groups involved are Quality Assurance, Technical Support, Game Support, and Developer Relationship. For more details on these and Erskine’s entire Dev Corner post, click on the “via” link below.
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